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Many people understand everything that shelter dogs have to offer, but some unfortunately don't. Thankfully, in Philadelphia, a new program is proving just how amazing rescue dogs can be.
The organization is called "Throw Away Dogs" and was founded by Carol Skaziak, who decided to start the group after seeing the disregard many rescue dogs received.
"I pour my heart and soul into it and all I ask for these departments is to just give my dogs a chance," Skaziak told NBC News.
So, what is this second chance she gives these pups? A chance to be a hero! The program was established in 2014 and rescues neglected shelter dogs. The program then works hard to rehabilitate and train them for police work.
Yep, from shelter dog to police dog! The dogs are trained to work in areas like narcotic detection and patrolling. The unique part of these police dogs is that they're donated to departments that are in need, completely free of charge.
Skaziak was inspired to train the dogs specifically for police work in part due to her officer husband. Being married to a police offer means Skaziak was made aware of all the financial pressures departments face. She realized that donating rescue and stray dogs took the stress off of police departments having to buy and train dogs.
The amount of money each department saves is significant, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
Throw Away Dogs chooses overlooked dogs for the program, and then K-9 officers train them. Jennifer Doyle, a handler for the Abington, Pennsylvania police departments assists in the process. She says they look for certain traits in shelter dogs when picking candidates, like a heightened "play drive."
The program trains dogs for three months in order to prepare them for K-9 testing in the police departments.
Forget "stray" dogs, these pups now proudly wear the title of superhero!